IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Autor)
Sources available to the IRB Documentation
Centre indicate that a "high pass" matriculation mark in four
subjects: Slovak language and literature, Russian language, Radio
Electronic Devices and Telecommunications, would not have ensured
acceptance into a Czechoslovakian university in 1985. According to
a professor at Carleton University who is currently involved with
universities in Czechoslovakia, "the reason was political rather
than academic. A lot [of students] who had passed could not get in
[to university] because their parents were dissidents or they did
not participate in communist youth organizations...Marks were only
one criterion and by no means the most important criterion"
(interview, 1 February 1991).
This information is supported by
documentation. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for
1985 states that "discrimination in education and employment is
regularly practised against the families of dissidents and
religious activists" and is used to deter others from open dissent
(1986, 951). Another source suggests that "a corruptible school
official may ultimately be the only hope for a young person seeking
access to higher education who comes from a politically
questionable family" (Ulc 1984, 130). An earlier Information
Request cites a former member of a Canadian Czechoslovakian
association regarding the necessity of membership in the official
youth organization in order to enter university (see the attached
excerpt from Information Request 1815). It should be noted,
however, that according to the Carleton University professor quoted
initially, the situation of 1985 no longer applies; as of late 1989
or 1990, high marks in the subjects listed above would be
sufficient to gain acceptance into university, or at least into a
technical or vocational university (interview, 1 February
Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices for 1985. 1986. U.S. Department of State. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office.
Czechoslovak Helsinki Committee. 1989.
Human Rights in Czechoslovakia 1988. Published by
International Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
Information Request 1815. 21 August
Professor at Carleton University.
Telephone interview. 1 February 1991.
Ulc, Otto. 1984. "Czechoslovakia,"
Communism in Eastern Europe. Ed. by Teresa
Rakowska-Harmstone. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.